Immortals. One movie that I’d really been looking forward to in the November of 2011. I’m a huge fan of Greek mythology, and I really wanted to see what this movie would be like, especially after the terrible dreariness of that-which-shall-not-be-named-but-shall-nonetheless, Clash of The Titans. I suppose I should have known better. I shouldn’t have put so much in Hollywood where stories like this are concerned.
But I did, and I paid for that… naivete. Immortals shall live on as one of the worst movies of this century. It took a brilliant concept, and then totally messed it up, on several different levels. It was at least as disappointing a movie as Clash of the Titans, if not more. Here’s my (reposted) review where I go into a bit more detail.
So apparently, we are definitely getting a new Batman in about two-years’ time, and the role will be played by actor/producer/director Ben Affleck. For the uninitiated, we saw Christopher Nolan wrap-up his Batman movie trilogy last year with the Christian Bale-starrer The Dark Knight Rises and Ben Affleck has done comic book roles before in Mark Steven Johnson’s Daredevil.
This is certainly an interesting time for DC/WB since they just recently launched their own cinematic universe with this summer’s hit Man of Steel and we know that there are going to be three more movies in this “phase 1” at the least: Batman vs Superman (2015), The Flash (2016), and Justice League (2017). I blogged a while back about how DC could start building its own cinematic universe to counter what Disney/Marvel have been doing with an incredibly successful line of Marvel movies.
This “plan” of mine, called Justice League: Strange Union, called on WB studios to make movies with characters that we haven’t yet seen in a live action adaptation for the cinemas and to keep any characters they wanted to reboot for the eventual Justice League film where Martian Manhunter could be added in as a new character for people to get to know.
As things stand though, based on the information that came out of San Diego Comic-Con last month and from all Hollywood sources last night, my plan is pretty much what I knew it would be: a mere hopeful fantasy.
So, the latest Superman flick Man of Steel has been out for a while, and it has been causing a few waves here and there. One of the most highly anticipated films of the year, right alongside G.I.Joe: Retaliation (god-awful terrible), Iron Man 3 (big, big disappointment), and Star Trek: Into Darkness (not too bad a sequel). Of all the films to come out this year from Hollywood, I was looking forward to the latest adventures of Superman the most, because he’s one of my favourite DC characters and because I’ve been a fan of the Christopher Reeves films (yes, even the terrible ones) and I loved the Tom Welling-starrer Smallville live-action series which did much to update the character for a more modern audience.
Like I said, Man of Steel has been causing a few waves. It has the highest June opening of any Hollywood film ever and it grossed over $200 million in its opening weekend alone. It has also set a few records in overseas territories and as of yesterday, the film has officially crossed the $500 million mark in global box office revenues, standing firmly at just a little over $520 million.
And in recent memory, no superhero movie has proven to be as divisive among critics and fans as Man of Steel has. From everything on my social media feeds, I’d say that the split between the yays and the nays is at 40/60 respectively, which means that most of the people on my social feeds didn’t like the movie.
So, as an amateur critic, what do I say to all this? As a fan of Superman fiction in all its forms, what do I say to all this?
Be warned however, there very well might be spoilers here.
Its absolutely no surprise that following the immense success of Marvel Studios’ various superhero movies, DC Entertainment and Warner Brothers have announced their own plans for movies based on DC’s famous characters. Over the last eight years we’ve seen Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, Bryan Singer’s Superman Returns, and Martin Campbell’s Green Lantern. There has been next to no continuity between these films, unlike the Marvel films which have all been connected through various agents of S.H.I.E.D and their infamous Director, Nick Fury. In fact, such interconnectivity has been one of the selling points of Marvel’s films.
You might ask, why is that? What makes the Marvel movies so different from the DC films?
Its straightforward. Marvel Studios stepped into the business with a clear direction of what they wanted to do. I don’t know exactly if it was the intention or not, but all of their films, especially from Iron Man 2 and out, have been building up towards a specific point, The Avengers. One by one, they released movies that would all tie-in together to culminate in the premier Marvel superhero team-up, thereby bringing their “Phase 1” to fruition.
And they’ve succeeded enormously. Which is where DC and WB step in because they want to mirror the success with their own properties. But its not easy to do that. All attempts so far have pretty much tanked. There just isn’t the same vision, and the same ability to face challenges at WB, from what we can see. Their various Wonder Woman projects seem to keep getting stalled for one reason or another. There are talks of a Green Lantern and Batman reboot already, and we are just about to have a new Superman movie that is another reboot after Singer’s Superman Returns from 2006.
A few weeks ago I was discussing this with fellow book blogger and friend, Nick Sharps, and I outlined the basics of what DC and WB should do to make sure that they are able to reproduce Marvel’s success.
It all ends up being about the vision.